A year of e-Nable Italy

It was just over a year ago when I started working on the first device for my daughter Greta, it was also the first step of this fantastic initiative that would soon become e-Nable Italia and that I am honored to coordinate. In the Energy Family Project association we had an idea: that of being able to donate devices to children in Italy, made by us, by parents and friends who wanted to help us, the idea of being able to give a little joy, a dream to our children ...

For once, try to overturn the perspective and try to transform something that is seen and experienced by many as a "defect" to be hidden into something special to be proud of.

This is the basic idea, but also the one that prostheses (real ones, we make devices, toys, which replicate a part of their functionality but which are not prostheses) can help children and adults in everyday life. who live the experience of an agenesis or a traumatic amputation and that we, in our own small way, with our "toy devices" can perhaps help to bring children closer to this world and make them more pleasant and interesting a device that otherwise would tend to suffer only because they are far from their world of play and fantasy.

Here, it all started from here, we met several people in this short journey that lasted just over a year, some with a decidedly orthogonal approach to ours and from which we kept well away, immediately ready to discuss armchairs or how to find and manage funds, others much more in tune with our approach which has always been to work from the bottom with humility, day after day, learning and trying to do better every time, ask for help too, but for what is strictly necessary and work, work hard…

I found fantastic new friends and trusted travel companions who have joined Massimo, Riccardo and Samuela, travel companions of all time, I quote here Alessandro, Michele and Piera, because they in particular have contributed, each in their own way, to create and place a really important piece of this small community that I write about today and that I represent, but the list is long and growing from month to month, our community is growing and I am sure together we can do great things.

The community of those who believe in us and support us is also growing, first of all the families and their friends, they really surprised us, supporting us and helping us to acquire resources and tools that not even remotely we would have imagined we could have only six months ago, this is a great satisfaction, I believe and I hope it means that we are doing well, but it is also a great responsibility, we must always do better and live up to the expectations of families, of all the friends who support us but above all of the children who expect us to we give him a dream.

In 2020 our friends supported us by donating € 1,520 to our micro campaigns in support of e-Nable Italia and to help us create the devices for our children, these funds allowed us to:

  • purchase 17 spools of filament for printing devices
  • purchase a Palette Pro 2S device for printing multi-color devices
  • purchase all the consumables necessary for the construction of the devices

To date we have given away 5 devices, we are working on five more, we are carrying out experimentation activities to extend the use of existing devices to children who cannot use them at the moment and we still have other fantastic ideas that we are working on and that we will soon be happy to share.

On behalf of the Energy Family Project and e-Nable Italia today I feel obliged to thank you all for the trust and support you show us and to renew our commitment to do better and better, we are only volunteers, for none of us this is a job and none of the volunteers are paid for what we do, but our commitment is firm and, I think I can say it on behalf of everyone, the joy of the children when they open the package and find the device repays all the efforts and the nights made to make them happen.

Heartfelt thanks from e-Nable Italia.

Alberto Navatta
Chapter Lead - e-Nable Italy
Vice President of Energy Family Project


Device and Unicorns

The challenge is one of the most difficult ones: to create a device that can adapt to a child who has a particular problem, an agenesis of four fingers of the hand with only the residual thumb.

The standard e-Nable devices are not useful in this case because they do not contemplate this possibility, the other opensource solutions available are not adequate because morphologically not compatible with the child's hand, something new, unique and specific is needed. for the little girl, we need all of our skills to be able to create the device to give to the little one.

The modification of the 3D model turned out to be extremely complex due to a series of technical issues, but thanks to the help of the friends of 4DoItaly we were able to obtain what appears to be a good result.

Having prepared the 3D model, we moved on to customization to make it unique and pleasant for the child, even here the request was "special", because each recipient of our devices is special.

His desire was to have a pink device with a unicorn on the palm, so we immediately got to work to make it happen, even here after a few weeks of testing and countless attempts we ask our friends for help who, thanks to their proven experience, show us the way on how to work with meshes.


The rest of the work is the work of Alessandro, our most tireless of volunteers, he is good, he is technically very well prepared and is always ready to contribute to any project.

Together we worked together to fine-tune the final model with the 3D components that would make up the final device.

Once the design was finished, we moved on to printing, here thanks to Palette, the device we bought with the donations arrived at e-Nable Italia, we thought we would have an easy life and make a fantastic multi-color print, but nothing is taken for granted and nothing is simple, even here tests and trials (each print took from 6 to 14/20 hours) to no end, because the device is very powerful but using it requires a great knowledge of an infinite number of configuration parameters in generating the file for the printer and a meticulous control of every detail.

Hours, days of tests and trials, spools of filaments and hours and hours (literally nights) of work to develop profiles and an adequate printing procedure.

To arrive at a test device that is almost acceptable, to date we may have worked for over 150 hours on the device, but there is still work to be done: the fitting is not accurate and the unicorn just doesn't want to be printed. properly with Palette ...

The next steps:

  1. modify the printer to operate in direct drive mode and improve control with color printing
  2. wait for the arrival of the last gift they generously gave us, a 3D scanner to scan the hand and perfectly calibrate the size of the print

Because we don't stop until we see the unicorn fly!


Donations - The first ten spools of filament for the volunteers arrived

Thanks to the money donated with our micro fundraisers to support us in creating the Devices we were able to buy the first ten reels of Professional PLA to print the devices for our children for free!


Previous one

Just enough time to get organized and get the other materials to arrive and the first reels of PLA already leave for our volunteers who, after countless test prints, are thrilled to be able to print the definitive devices for children.


Donations - Palette 2 Pro S for color printing

It is incredible how in a very short time, thanks to the support of those who believe in our project and support us, we are managing to acquire tools that we had not even remotely imagined we could use.

Today Palette 2 Pro S has finally arrived, it is a fantastic device that connects to any printer and allows you to transform it from a simple "monochrome" printer to a "color" printer.

It will allow us to print devices with up to four simultaneous colors, there are not many, but in the world of 3D printing they are an immense goal and this device in the hands of our volunteers will be able to transform our children's dreams into reality, allowing us to create even more devices. beautiful and colorful and to improve children's acceptance.

In fact, experience teaches us that the more the device is pleasant and close to the child's imagination, the more he is happy to use it.

From today we will continue to work with even greater commitment and with the spirit and will that distinguishes us, aware that this type of devices are extremely complex and require a great deal of work to be used in the best possible way, but also confident of being able to reach new and unexpected goals and to be able to do better and better!


Iron Man theme

A device for… Iron Man!

A new device for an Iron Man fan.
Based on the original project by Team Unlimbited, (https://www.teamunlimbited.org/) has been remodeled in some parts with Fusion360.
Here are some renderings

The gold filament pieces are ready
This is just a test to test the color change on the printer

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